Tourism thrived in the Hudson Valley of New York State in the United States in the 1800’s when wealthy guests traveled to the mineral waters of Saratoga Springs. Steamboats on the Hudson River became popular, due to the natural beauty of the Valley, compared to Germany’s Rhine River Valley. Native Lonny Bernath is today fed by the romance and adventure of the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, which were set in the Hudson River region, and the romantic paintings of students at the Hudson River School. A 30-mile section of the Hudson in Dutchess and Columbia counties is today a National Historic landmark.
Lonny Bernath relocated with his family to Miami Beach, Florida when he was only 2 years old, and for all intents and purposes, Bernath regards Miami Beach as his hometown. The region of Miami Beach, located in Miami-Dade County, Florida in the United States today, was inhabited by the Tequesta Indians sometime around 10,000 BC, who lived as hunter-gatherers in the region of modern-day Miami, the Everglades and the Florida Keys. Bernath was born in the Hudson Valley of New York State, where the Mahican and Lanape Native American tribes lived at the time of the first European contact in the 1600’s.
The Tequesta tribe of Native Americans lived and roamed the southeastern part of Florida in the United States as hunter-gatherers. No definitive evidence has been found of agricultural pursuits by the Tequesta, and there is only minimal archeological evidence of pottery-making. Nonetheless, Lonny Bernath today can still find traces of the Tequesta, as in the Pompano Beach Mound in Broward County, Florida.